THE Stroke Association has launched its new Moving Forward After Stroke programme in Oldham to help local stroke survivors get more active.

Working with partners GM Active, the charity has developed a free 12-week exercise and education programme - which began last week - for stroke survivors across various locations in Greater Manchester.

The programme will see participants come together each Tuesday at Chadderton Wellbeing Centre, to help reduce their risk of another stroke and improve their levels of fitness.

The two hour sessions cover topics including simple lifestyle changes, healthy diet, and improving mood, as well as an exercise class with an instructor qualified in stroke rehabilitation.

Grandmother Margaret Clarke, aged 66, from Failsworth, who attended the first session, suffered a stroke in June which left her with weakness in her right side.

Margaret said: “I was very active before my stroke and frequently looked after my granddaughter.

"I’m hoping the sessions will help me to get more mobile, but it’s also really helpful to be around others in a similar situation.

"It’s so frightening after a stroke and you worry about little things; the effects are mental as well as physical. It’s already making a difference meeting others who have been through the same experience.”

Eamonn Greene, Stroke Association support coordinator, said: “More people than ever before are surviving a stroke, which is fantastic news, but the condition can be devastating, leaving far too many people facing a lifetime of disability.

"The Moving Forward After Stroke programme sessions will help local stroke survivors improve their mobility and fitness, while also learning how to help prevent another stroke in the future.

“The programme also enables Oldham stroke survivors and carers to meet others who are also rebuilding their lives life after a stroke, build their confidence and lift their mood. We’re excited to bring this new programme to the city in partnership with GM Active.”

Jason Bailey, health and wellbeing officer at Oldham Community Leisure, said: “Oldham Community Leisure is proud to be working as part of GM Active with the Stroke Association, delivering this programme for Oldham residents that have survived stroke.

“The exercise component of the programme has been designed to not only improve cardiovascular fitness, muscular conditioning and balance and flexibility but also to help the participants with what we call Activities of Daily Living.

"This helps them in doing everyday activities both at home and when they are out shopping, visiting friends and family and so on.

"Those who complete the 12 week programme will be offered the opportunity to continue onto OCLLs Exercise Referral Programme, which gives discounted access to all the exercise and lifestyle activities we provide across our five leisure centres.”

Chris Turner, Business Manager for GM Active, said: “We are delighted that we are working in partnership with the Stroke Association on this fantastic programme, which really highlights the importance of the social and mental health benefits in supporting stroke survivors. GM Active encourages people across Greater Manchester to engage in physical activity through a range of sporting and recreational opportunities, making it possible to empower people to take charge of their health and wellbeing.”

The programme is open to stroke survivors at any stage of their recovery.

To find out more and join the next Moving Forward After Stroke programme contact Eamonn at the Stroke Association on 075155 97171 or email